Joseph Koller received many awards honoring his commitment to photography and writing in South Dakota. With little training, he established himself as one of South Dakota’s most distinguished photographers and is currently being recognized as one of South Dakota’s Great Faces.
Pierre – Koller began working on the railroad and studying photography early in life. He moved from his home state of Nebraska to Edgemont, South Dakota, to open his first photography studio. After serving in World War I, he opened a studio at Belle Fourche in 1923. The studio remained in business for 20 years.
Koller was a member of the South Dakota State Historical Society and the Western Writers Group.
He received the Outstanding Service Award of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. The Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association gave him the Distinguished Service to South Dakota Travel Industry Award.
Koller published more than fifty short stories in western periodicals and contributed a chapter for the Territorial Centennial publication, Dakota Panorama.
South Dakota’s Great Faces weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism, designed to highlight people who have had significant impacts on South Dakota, particularly in the visitor industry. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Faces” link to access the complete list of articles.